I’m back!

Well, it got incredibly busy – my learners were getting ready for GCSE maths and so I was teaching 4 nights a week plus Saturday mornings with extra classes of other subjects in the afternoons, so I didn’t have time to speak to friends or clean the house let alone update this blog.

Now it’s quiet for the summer (boo, no money; hurrah, decorating the house) I’m back. I thought there’d be nothing much to report but I can see March was a tricky old time and things are better.

I think I went back up to 12mg and came down by half a milligram per reduction using the very slow almost stop technique – 7 day gap between new lower doses, then 6 day gap 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 then a couple of weeks on the new dose and start again. I’m pleased to say I am now in the middle of the  4 day gap of 10.5 which means that I take 10.5 on Sunday, then Wednesday then Friday and if all feels okay, just keep on 10.5,g for a couple of weeks before starting down to 10mg over August/September. The trouble comes when it gets below 10mg as you have to start thinking about lower doses and it’s hard to break the 1 mg pills up reasonably accurately to say 0.3. Someone has claimed you can get 2.5 mg so half of  that is 1.25mg so if I want to get to 9 from 10, I could try 9.75 to begin with. Mind you that would be 5mg, 2.5mg and 1.25mg but if you can’t get 2.5 in the UK I’ll have to start chopping 5mg into quarters. I’ll need a different container from the 0.5mg cut up pills. Hey ho. This is why I get up, feed the cats and make coffee and get the cheese (with homemade spelt bread at the moment) and take my vits before I go back to bed to sort out the pred. I need to be awake for the maths! And my learners as me why they need to know about fractions!!!!

The other cheery thing is that my ravenous period is now over. Sadly I gained around 10lb while it was happening, but coming down below 11.5 seems to have sent it away again, and I am now keeping a stable if higher weight.

I’ve got an appointment to talk to a metabolic bone doctor in September about my desire for strontium rather than bisphosphonates. It’s going to be a struggle as it’s more expensive (around £300 per year) but it works much better with the osteoblasts and casts and don’t affect your stomach. I’ve not had much trouble with my stomach – except the night I ate the gungiest of all the cupcake gifts my learners gave me at the end of term. I have  omeprozole for emergencies like this – I took a weeks’s worth and then kept everything calm with Yeo Valley Greek yogurt (0% fat) which has 5 sorts of bacteria in it, plus lots of almond milk and no eating controversial foods after 6pm. Not taking Omeprazole means that my bone density won’t be quite so compromised – remember you are balancing medications that wreck your stomach but look after your bones with medications that wreck you bones but look after your stomach.

I don’t know if I mentioned the other medical thing that happened. I mentioned to my lovely GP that I wasn’t hearing my learners so clearly and wondered if I could have a hearing test. Within seconds, or so it seemed, I had had a hearing test and got hearing aids (although the fitter was a bit sniffy as my hearing loss was very mild). However, the consultant sent me for an MRI scan because I had a greater hearing loss in one ear and the other and at high frequency (and I have no idea why my hearing might have gone – maybe everyone’s does at my ancient age, but most people aren’t so bothered about looking like an idiot in front of their learners).

Anyway – they are looking to see if I have an acoustic neuroma, which is a benign tumour that grows on your acoustic nerve. Basically it’s benign because it’s very slow growing and doesn’t spread to other parts of your body, but it is inside your brain and if it grows too big will squash important bits and kill you. So quite interesting to see if I have one or if I’m just an old git. If I do, I hope it’s small enough to just watch or can be left to pull out next summer – I don’t want to disrupt this year’s GCSE intake and, of course, my income! People keep asking me if I’ve heard back, but it seems to take at least 4 weeks to get news either way, so any time now.

I’m genuinely not worried just interested. And I was concerned about the MRI scan itself having sat with my daughter while she had one, but I followed her advice and closed my eyes before they put the thing on my head, so it was just a little lie down with Philip Glass in the background behind the entertaining MRI racket. One major advantage was that it was an incredibly hot day and the MRI had wonderful air-conditioning! Ooh yes, and I got to see what my brain looked like!

Anyway, I’ll keep you posted. (I must say, hearing aids take a bit of getting used to but they are definitely doing the trick – I haven’t once said “Er what?” to my learners since I’ve started with them.)


These may look quite innocent but there was an enormous amount of yummy butter-cream gunge under the fondant icing!


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